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Our Leadership Team

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Our Leadership Team

Tara is an independent school and our Principal, Mrs Susan Middlebrook, is empowered to employ excellent teachers and administration staff. Mrs Middlebrook is appointed by and reports to the School Council. She is responsible for delivering Tara's Strategic Plan and for the daily running of the school. It is Mrs Middlebrook's priority that our students are cared for by excellent teachers, who provide innovative, high quality teaching and learning experiences for our girls.

Mrs Susan Middlebrook (Principal)

MEd (Admin) BEc Dip Ed MACE MACEL
Sue Middlebrook has worked in education for more than 30 years. She has a strong background in both curriculum and pastoral care and is an experienced classroom teacher. Sue has worked in a variety of Anglican schools and brings passion and commitment to the education of girls. Susan is currently President of the Association of Heads of Girls Schools (AHIGS) and is a Director of The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. In addition, she is a member of the Association of Independent Schools Australia (AHISA NSW/ACT) Executive Committee and Academic Committee and is a member of the Board for the Anglican Education Commission.

Ms Ruth Adams (Deputy Principal and Head of Junior School)

BEd (Distinction), MEd (Leadership) (Distinction), IBEN
Ruth Adams is an experienced teacher and leader who has worked both internationally and within NSW. Ruth is an International Baccalaureate workshop leader, consultant and school visit team leader within Asia-Pacific. Her goal at Tara and within the broader IB community is to partner with students, teachers and families to inspire young people to foster an active and life-long approach to learning. 

Mr Paul Ryan (CFO & Director of Operations)  

CA BEc (Accg) Dip School Compliance FIML  

Paul Ryan was appointed in 2010, having spent the previous six years as the CFO for the National Council of Churches in Australia. He has vast experience as a Head of Finance in the professional, corporate accounting and the not-for-profit sectors. Paul is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and Leaders. 

Mr Scott Baker (Head of Senior School)

Scott Baker has been teaching for over 20 years and is a text book author, HSC lecturer, and Senior Marker in Modern History for the HSC. He was previously Tara’s Head of History and Head of Academic Administration. Scott is passionate about encouraging our girls to develop a life-long commitment to learning and believes the relationship between students, teachers, and parents is a great strength of Tara. 

Mrs Stephanie Griffiths (Director of Student Wellbeing Years 7-12)

MEd, BMus Ed, Grad Cert (Counselling) MACE
Stephanie Griffiths has been involved in independent girls' education for over 25 years. Her major area of interest is in Pastoral Care and she has held a variety of positions including Head of Middle School and Assistant Head of Boarding at Abbotsleigh as well as Head of the Upper Sixth at Moreton Hall in the UK. 

Mrs Samantha Cocks (Director of Boarding) 

BA Grad Dip Ed Grad Cert TESOL 
Samantha Cocks started at Tara in 2009. Since that time she held various positions in the school such as Stage 4 Year Coordinator and EAL/D Coordinator before taking on the role of Director of Boarding. Samantha has worked in girl’s education for the duration of her career as a Japanese and EAL/D teacher.  She has been a HSC Marker and has coordinated many tours to Japan. As the Director of Boarding, she aims to provide a safe and encouraging environment for the boarders so they can achieve their goals and be equipped to work and excel in their future endeavours.

Mr Daryl Hinton (Dean of Learning Years 7-10)

MEd BSc (Computing Science) MACE MACEL
Daryl Hinton was appointed in 2004 as Head of Computing and has also been a Year Coordinator and Head of Academic Administration. He has vast experience integrating digital technologies to enhance learning and is a Senior Marker in Software Design & Development for the HSC. Daryl coordinates the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program and is passionate about developing effective approaches to education that encourage students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners.

Mrs Wendy Abernethy (Dean of Learning Years ELC-6)

BEd, BTeach
Wendy has been teaching girls for over 20 years. During this time she has been a classroom teacher as well as a specialist in both Music and Science. Wendy is passionate about inquiry learning and the constructivist approach. Her goal is to collaborate with teachers in planning and delivering outstanding inquiry programs at Tara. Wendy is currently studying her Masters in Educational Leadership. 

Mrs Michelle Kay-Browning (Chaplain/Director of Christian Faith and Values)  

MTS, BMusEd, AMusA
Michelle Kay-Browning has been teaching in girls’ education for 20 years. Previously a Music teacher and Year Coordinator at Tara, she is also a Christian songwriter, worship leader, author and speaker.  Her ministry has taken her to countless churches, conferences and events throughout Australia, New Zealand, PNG, and the UK. Michelle’s vision for life is ‘to lead a lifestyle of worship, encouraging and empowering others to do the same’.

Mrs Denise Hayward (Deputy Head of Junior School) 

Bed, Grad Cert (Assessment), Grad Cert (Mathematics) 
Denise Hayward has worked within the single gender education sector for over 25 years. Working in girls education Denise’s goal is to educate young women for a contemporary world, where they are able to take action and make a difference. Denise is passionate about teacher education and developing the next generation of educators. To this end she works with AITSL, NESA and the AIS on quality assurance projects and teacher accreditation to ensure the education provided for students is of the highest quality. Denise is currently studying her Masters in Educational Leadership. 

Mr Matthew Bonson (Dean of Learning Years 11-12)

BA Dip Ed
Matthew Bonson has been teaching at Tara for 15 years. During this time he has held the positions of House Patron, Year Coordinator, Leadership Coordinator and Head of History. He has worked as a consultant for the AIS in implementing National Curriculum and is a regular presenter at AIS History conferences. Matthew has been a Senior HSC Marker for Extension History for the past four years and has worked as a marker for NESA for the past nine years. Matthew’s aim in his position as Dean of Learning Years 11-12 is to help Tara students to achieve the best possible results and to establish an environment that allows students to excel in life after Tara.



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